Mayor to Slash School Spending; Despite Threat, No Action Yet

By Joshua Resnek

The mayor has said he is going to cut as much as $8 million from the Everett School Department budget because the city cannot support the present level of spending.

He has said he will be proposing that fees for those playing sports or marching in the band in order to bring spending in line with available funds.

This is juxtaposed against a statement from the mayor recently that the city is rich with cash, and that cash is available for nearly all the city’s needs whatever they are.

As of Tuesday this week – neither Mayor Carlo DeMaria nor City Auditor Eric Demas or Superintendent of Schools Fred Foresteire have met in conference to discuss the proposed cuts.

A glimpse of a small portion of those cuts has been provided by several union officials, including Kim Auger, the president of the Everett Teachers Association.

Officials in the mayor’s office said they would have no comment on the matter and that City Auditor Eric Demas was conducting negotiations with Superintendent Foresteire.

A call to the Auditor’s office failed to produce a response.

Auger said the possibility of 57 teachers being cut from the payroll in order to save $1.6 million would be a disaster.

“Losing teachers doesn’t benefit anyone,” she said. “I am hoping the mayor will fund the department fully to save the school system from devastation,” she added.

Auger said she had not been contacted by the mayor or the auditor, nor had she been invited to participate in any discussions focusing on the mayor’s prediction of $8 million in cuts.

“I have lived here all my life. I’ve been a teacher for 25 years. I have a daughter at the Lafayette School. I am hoping the budget will be fully funded,” she repeated.

“Just the loss of so many teachers is devastating to them – but then there are the students they serve. So many teachers let go would be a disgrace not to mention a terrible blow to doing the best we can for our school children in this city.”

She said that the Everett Teachers Association would strongly oppose all the cuts the mayor is apparently planning.

“I live here. I work here. I have a child in the public school system. I don’t think by slashing the School Department budget that anything worthwhile can be accomplished.”

Teachers aren’t the only school department employees slated for the chopping block.

Sources claim the mayor’s proposed cuts will include 10 clerical employees, 2 tech/tv employees, 17 paraprofessionals, 8 custodians and 12 houseworkers.

Superintendent Foresteire said he would have no comment and that he was awaiting discussions with City Auditor Demas.

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